Unexpected events will happen in life and sometimes you can be prepared and sometimes you need to roll with the punches. If there is a large unexpected event we’re covered by an emergency fund (to which I am thankful for and sleep better at night because of it) but sometimes you’ll end up in a non-budgeted for situation and you need to make some decisions. This past weekend was one of these situations for us.
There is a well-known farmer’s market about an hour away from us. After some discussion with my in-laws, it was decided we all wanted to make the trek up this weekend and check things out. We love little road trips with them and it was an excuse to get out of the city for the day.
Given that it was quasi-impromptu, I didn’t have time to budget anything for it but we (as a family) really wanted to go and experience it all together for the day so choices had to be made. Some people have separate categories within their budget to deal with events just as such, we do not. Nor will I create one anytime soon. Events like this happen so infrequently I’m not interested in tying money up every month, we need as much money as possible funneling into debt repayment! We have more of a roll-with-the-punches sort of budgeting system. If we really want something we figure it out at the time.
Sunday morning we piled into our vehicles and caravanned up to the market. We had a lot of fun walking through and picking up a few yummy treats to take home. We all had lunch at the market and it was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. None of this matters though since we didn’t budget a single penny for any of it. So how can we deal with these unexpected expenditures?
This is likely the easiest for us. One thing I do like about an hourly rate vs. salary is that it’s easy to work a bit more for a larger paycheque. This goes for both of us. If we really want something (an unbudgeted daytrip or new patio furniture-both of which we’ve done recently) we can earn more at our 9-5’s to offset the increased cost.
I admit that we’re loose budgeters. We’re more money trackers than strict budgeters but it works for us. I could throw an extra category in the spreadsheet to set aside a bit more every week but quite honestly I don’t want to. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else though. I think Cat calls the ”Gremlins”
Cut, cut, cut
This is my least favorite option but we always have the option of cutting from other categories. Our self-imposed ”minimum” debt payment is much more than the actual minimum so if we had to ”take” from here we could though we haven’t yet and would rather not. I’m also stashing a little extra away for our getaway next year, a target we’re actually ahead of saving schedule on thanks to a tax refund. There are overestimated categories in our budget that we could pull if we decided something was ”worth it”.
Luckily this little trip didn’t take too much of a dent out of our budget- a little added gas, the cost of some farmers market treats and a cheap but oh-so-delicious lunch. All of it 100% worth it!
How do you deal with unexpected or spontaneous un-budgeted things in your life?